A critical mass that began in San Francisco | KALW

A critical mass that began in San Francisco

Jul 30, 2012

On the last Friday evening of every month, the streets of hundreds of cities around the world are transformed. The cars, trucks, and busses that usually dominate the landscape slow down – because they are overwhelmed by bicycles. In San Francisco, cyclists from all over the city, the Bay Area, and sometimes the world come together at the foot of Market Street.

They are racers in spandex, messengers with canvas bags, children, seniors, and everyone in between. Shortly after the clock tower at the Ferry Building strikes six, the bicyclists begin to move, revolving around the concrete park, until they reach a boiling point of excitement: a critical mass. Then one person takes off into traffic, followed by another ... and more ... until hundreds – or even thousands – of bicycles fill the downtown roadways, forcing all the motorized vehicles to stop.

KALW’s Ben Trefny and Zoe Corneli joined the Critical Mass, and spoke with three of the founders, to find out how a collection of like-minded people can make the world spin a little differently.